The influencers at the forefront of the European elections Liberal

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Particularly interesting is the way this year’s events are promoted European elections, if compared to the previous elections. Questions about the role of content creators (influencers) naturally arise, since we saw several of them for the first time roaming the corridors of the European Parliament, both in Brussels and in Strasbourg.

The use of social media is essential for the election campaign, which aims to encourage citizens to use their vote. This was also the central message of the “Use your vote” campaign. The cost of the whole election campaign in 27 member states and in at least 24 languages ​​amounts to 37 million euros.

Perhaps the main objective in this campaign was to reach out to young people, so that they could upgrade their knowledge about the European Parliament. Working with content creators is part of its communication strategymost of them have a rabid youth audience and so it would be easier to get the message across to go to the polls and vote.

What was specifically mentioned to us was how influencers can help Parliament reach different audiences including – indicative and not restrictive – of young people, who are one of Parliament’s target audiences, but they tend to follow political developments less or be informed by the media and generally participate less in elections.

Parliament’s communication team constantly collaborates with content creators from all over the European Union and organizes seminars selected for their interest in specific topical issues. In relation to these, MEPs can help them understand Parliament’s priorities and positions.

During events, the Parliament provides personalized information about its work, relevant to their profiles and their communities. When inviting influencers to specific events, Parliament ensures that they align with EU values, respect codes of conduct and genuinely care about the specific issues.

At this point came the question of whether or not they are being paid to run this promotion. The answer we got was as follows: Parliament does not pay influencers for the content they produce. They are encouraged (but not required) to share content about their visit to Parliament.

When inviting content creators, Parliament only covers travel in advance as well as meals in Brussels and Strasbourg. The European Parliament does not in any way endorse the personal views expressed by the content creators/personalities it may work with.

The choice and the names

The selection of content creators who have recently been in Brussels and Strasbourg is made according to the number of people who follow them on social media according to the data of each member state.

An attempt was made to select persons who were willing to proceed with the journeyin the hope that they would promote the elections through their platforms.

In these cases, specific hashtags are created for all Media, which are used so that each user can see everything related to the European Parliament elections.

From GREECE selected were Evelina Nikoliza with 163 thousand followers on Instagram and 172 thousand on Youtube, Panagiotis Raphaelidis with 70.3 thousand followers on Instagram and 38 thousand subscribers on Youtube, Natalia Argyraki with 24.9 followers on Instagram and Dimitris Panopoulos with 11, 6 followers on Instagram and 28k on Youtube. At this point it should be noted that all four work as journalists in various channels.

Creating a TikTok account

What caused perhaps the biggest impression, was the fact that, while the European Commission imposed restrictions on officials using TikTokto remove it from their work phones, which was followed by the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, an account was created on the application with the aim of promoting the European Parliament elections.

In particular, the account was opened about 2-3 weeks ago, it is called @europeanparliament, 27/2 the first video was published and to date it has 22,300 followers. This, as we were told, it was done as another attempt to get more young people to votethrough a platform for which for years there has been an attempt to block it from various countries, such as the United States, however, the new generation has now settled in a large percentage on it, as a result of which they turn their backs on other platforms such as Facebook and youtube, which used to be protagonists. Instagram is perhaps the only medium that keeps a steady course and can attract audiences from all generations.

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